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Today, as Americans celebrate our nation’s independence and remember the sacrifices of our Founding Fathers, we must also take time to reflect on the principles that were enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, and the meaning of those words for our party, and our country.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”
It is clear that our Founding Fathers believed firmly in the inalienable and fundamental nature of those rights- Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. They knew that our rights came not from the state, but from God Himself. The meaning of this is clear- we are a Republic, built on freedom and life, under God. America, and Americans, cannot be separated from these rights. And it is by the grace of God, that we continue flourishing as the land of liberty, and even when we face tests, we never stop believing in God, and we never stop believing in America. It is because of this that America comes out from each crisis much stronger, and also much wiser.
When we talk about life, we tend to think of protecting the lives of our unborn children and fighting against policies which undermine the sanctity of life. But this right also means something much more basic. It is a guarantee to every American that we have the right to live. Our lives are not the possessions of the Government, or of anyone else, but they are a right granted by the grace of God. Life is one of the greatest gifts God could have ever given to us. We must treasure our lives, and indeed, it is our duty to live our lives meaningfully, because they belong to us- our life is our privilege, and our right, but it is also our responsibility, like a piece of clay which we must mould and strengthen. So treasure life.
There is nothing which is as American as liberty itself. We are a nation built on liberty. We have the right to live our lives freely, not as servants, but as masters of our own destiny. The founders of our party had this in mind when they came together to fight for their cause. It was, and continues to be, the mission of the Republican party to protect and advance American liberty. Abraham Lincoln did so by fighting slavery. Theodore Roosevelt did so by campaigning against corruption in Government, and in business, which undermined Americans’ freedom. Ronald Reagan did so by rolling back the frontiers of the state and halting the Soviet Union. George W. Bush did so by bringing a message of respect for human rights and the advancement of democracy to the rest of the world. Today, it is time for us to learn our lessons from these Presidents, and to take up their torch once more, in the fight for freedom. It’s Americans’ duty to hold that torch, and it’s Republicans’ duty to re-light that torch.
At the heart of America’s free enterprise system is opportunity. In America, every person has the chance to pursue happiness in their unique ways. Indeed, the liberal critique of success is precisely so dangerous because America’s prosperity depends on the hard work of millions of individuals, each contributing in their own unique ways to America, and to their fellow Americans. The goal of reducing tax burdens on working families and small businesses, cutting red tape, creating jobs, balancing our books and paying down the debt is not economic growth, which is merely a sign that our foremost goal has been achieved. That goal is to create an opportunity society, based on responsibility and merit, not an entitlement society centered on government. It’s big society, not big government, that really makes a difference in our lives.
At this juncture, our Federal Government, and our political and economic elites, have shown themselves blind to these basic principles. But our Founding Fathers knew this would happen, which is why America is not only a Republic, it is also a constitutional democracy. In November, Americans have a chance to hold our politicians to account- and we must exercise our civic duty by casting our ballots for a Republican ticket. “R” not only means “Republican”, it also means “reform”, “restoration”, and “renewal”. Only with a winning ticket for America can we rebuild our party and restore America’s promise.
Happy Independence Day, and keep believing in America!